on 24 July 2007
When I was a kid there used to be 20 minute compilations of Harold LLoyd movies...on BBC2 I think. I remember them cropping up during school holidays. Maybe you remember them too? "Hooray for Harold Lloyd!" went the memorable theme tune. Although looking back, I don't think I had a proper appreciation of the talent on show, I really do remember enjoying these short programmes of clips. So much so, that Lloyd's name and image stayed with me from those days (20+ years ago).
From time to time over more recent years I have logged into Amazon and other sites on the off-chance of finding his material on DVD. Having read the rave reviews of the American release of this collection I looked forward to the British release. In the meantime I bought Jeffrey Vance's book (which is outstandingly good). My appetite well and truly whetted, I pre-ordered this collection. Imagine my frustration when the release was put back from May to July!
Anyway, it was worth the wait! Having already accumulated knowledge about Harold Lloyd (through the afformentioned book) I have begun to properly discover the immense talent within this fascinating man. The films contained in this collection are not all great, but all are enjoyable. The Freshman, Speedy, Girl Shy, Grandma's Boy, Safety Last, The Kid Brother, Dr. Jack...I could go on but his best features stand comparison with anything produced then or since. The sight gags and visual humour are absolutley timeless in my opinion and you will laugh out-loud, believe me. The shorts move at a generally quicker pace and contain some wonderful sequences. The features appear to me to have been very carefully crafted and many allow space for Lloyd to develop character elements very satisfyingly. Lloyd was a good actor and arguably more versatile than his contemporaries; his "glasses" character allowed him great freedom and his characters appear natural within their stroylines.
Having now read lots about Lloyd I think it is fair to say he was not a "funny man" as such. I think his contribution transcended a particular role or function; everything was agreed and approved by him; ownership of the films was his; the risks were his own, as were the rewards.
The extra features in this collection are all worthwhile...some of the home movies are delightful. Harold Lloyd emerges, in my opinion, as a great and interesting man, clearly loved by those that knew him.
Technically, the films here are somewhat variable; picture quality is never anything less than acceptable and is often exteremely good. The music works very well indeed and complements the images rather than distracting from them.
I cannot recommend this collection highly enough. I think informed opinion now places him amongst the ranks of the very best film-makers. To understand why, buy this box-set! Thanks for reading.
on 1 December 2008
This box includes most of Harold Lloyd's work dating from 1919-1932 (I dare to say: all the important silent features). As the films are unfortunately not arranged chronologically on the discs, these are the titles:
Ask Father, released 09.02.1919
Billy Blazes, Esq., 06.07.1919
Bumping Into Broadway, 02.11.1919
From Hand to Mouth, 28.12.1919
Haunted Spooks, 14.03.1920
An Eastern Westerner, 02.05.1920
High and Dizzy, 11.07.1920
Get Out and Get Under, 12.09.1920
Number, Please?, 26.12.1920
Now or Never, 27.03.1921
Among Those Present, 29.05.1921
I Do, 11.09.1921
Never Weaken, 22.10.1921
A Sailor-Made Man, 25.12.1921
Grandma's Boy, 20.05.1922
Dr. Jack, 26.11.1922
Safety Last!, 01.04.1923
Why Worry?, 02.09.1923
Girl Shy, 20.04.1924
Hot Water, 26.10.1924
The Freshman, 20.09.1925
For Heaven's Sake, 04.04.1926
The Kid Brother, 22.01.1927
Welcome Danger, 12.10.1929
Feet First, 08.11.1930
Movie Crazy, 12.08.1932
The Cat's-Paw, 30.07.1934
The Milky Way, 07.02.1936
The restauration of some of the better known films is just amazing and most of the music added is pretty good. The special features are often good as well.
on 21 July 2007
This set is wonderful probably the best collection of silent films available!
It includes ALL Lloyd's silent feature films as well the first 5 of his 7 sound films along with a very generous selection of his shorts.
There are commentaries on Safety Last, The Kid Brother, The Freshman, Speedy & Haunted Spooks.
There are lots of other extras these consist;
Leonard Matlin Featurette
Remembering Harold Featurette
Keep 'Em Rolling Featurette
Finding Harold Featurette
USC Gala Dinner
Old Gold Comedy Theatre
City Of LA Fiesta Parade Promo
World Of Comedy Trailer
Social Security In Action
The Academy Awards of 1957
Introduction to THE FRESHMAN
Memories, Secrets and Gags
The Works Of Harold Lloyd
The Scores for the silent films have mostly been done by the incomparable Carl Davis and the great Robert Israel and are all wonderful.
This set is basically the UK release of "The Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection" which was a region 1 release but this set also contains Harold's first sound film "Welcome Danger" which is not on the region 1 set
on 5 August 2008
I was lambasted by my family for purchasing this DVD box as I had already possessed US version of this for about 3years .
Then why did I lay out money on this again? The reason is that of course I am an ardent admirer of Lloyd and this UK version is superior to its US counterpart in that it carries Lloyd's commemorative first talkie called "Welcome Danger" produced in 1929.
Now that I've enjoyed what I had long wanted to, I can say that it was worth getting it.
Living in Japan I don't have to use special device to watch this DVD box as my country shares the same region code for DVD with the UK.
However I only give four stars to evaluate. Why? Well,it is because unlike the US version, each film is not accompanied by English subtitles and thus I find, as a non-native speaker of English, it is very disappointing and inconvenient the omission of English subtitles forbids me full appreciation of the talkies.
on 15 November 2009
In the heyday of silent comedy the three all time greats were Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. Millions queued to see their films at the cinema in the days before TV, DVD and all the multimedia of today.
Arguably Lloyd is the lesser known of the three (known as "the man on the clock" in Tom Dardis's excellent film biography), but for me his work is probably the most entertaining of the three. Chaplin's work, although clearly the creation of a genius, is too sentimental for many today. Keaton's brilliant legacy continues to burn brightly and is well known, but if you're not familiar with Harold Lloyd then grab this set while you can. The stories are eternal - boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back in the final reel sagas but the slapstick is still very funny, the stories are packed with wonderful cinematic flourishes and Lloyd is a wonderfully sympathetic star. He started out trying to emulate Chaplin, but with his trademark glasses and hat he created an eternal comedy persona. A great physical comedian, who did his own stunts, Lloyd deserves to be celebrated by a new audience. All his great films are here - The Freshman, Speedy, The Kid Brother and Safety Last (the one on the clock face)and there is generally something enjoyable in all of them. I could wish for the much maligned "Professor Beware" (a talkie) to be included too but otherwise every film you could wish for is here. The remastering is excellent. Highly recommended.
on 5 February 2008
When I was a child and my father first bought a vcr, one of the first things he recorded was a season of Harold Lloyd films. I stumbled across them again a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed watching them. When I discovered this boxset I jumped at the chance to discover more of his work. Many of Harold's feature films and shorts are included here, and also many enlightening extras, in a package that couldn't be bettered. After he retired from film-making he went on to be a photographer, and also included in this package is a set of 5 stunning photo/postcards that he took of the beautiful Marilyn Monroe. Despite a lapse of almost 90 years, these films are as fresh and hilarious, and frequently thrilling, as ever. In the scenes shot on location, such as the breathtaking chase sequence finale of Girl Shy, it's a fascinating glimpse into a bygone era to see city streets as equally full of horses and carts as of the newfangled motor car. Many of his films are so called "thrill comedies", including the deservedly notorious Safety Last - in which our hero scales the outside of an 8-storey building, and are still genuinely hair raising. His acrobatic antics are rendered all the more remarkable due to an accident early in his career which left him with only half of his right hand! The documentaries here offer an interesting insight into the life and work of this talented man, showing how very involved he was in every aspect of the film-making process and leaving no doubt that he was the genius behind this work. Refreshingly for so accomplished and acclaimed a person, he seems to have been a genuinely decent man and much beloved by all who knew him. I can't recommend this boxset highly enough; everyone should have the pleasure of discovering Harold Lloyd for themselves! These films are thrilling, impressive, and endlessly inventive in ways that modern film makers, loaded down as they are with an excess of special effects, can't even dream of.
on 31 January 2011
I have been a fan of Harold Lloyd since I watched him on BBC2 when I was young, I always knew he was a huge star, but I didn't know he was the biggest and richest star in Hollywood in the 1920's. Interestingly it seems that during the 50's and 60's when television made huge stars all again of people like Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, The Three Stooges etc, Harold Lloyd refused to allow his films to be shown for fear of how they would be recieved, as a result he "became lost" to a whole new generation of fans. It was only after his death in 1971 that the real revival came about.
As a result anyone in the UK who is thinking of buying this box set is probably over 30 and nostalgicly remembers "Harold Lloyd's World of Comedy" on BBC2 in 1970's and 1980's with the catchy theme tune "Hooray for Harold Lloyd". I myself got my introduction to Harold Lloyd this way, and I also remember the brief Ch4 revival in the early 1990's when a few of his feature films were shown along with the excellent 2 part documentary "Harold Lloyd - The Third Genius".
This box set has all the major features and shorts (bar the last two talkies) but it is also choc full of extras, including important archive materials such as interviews with Lloyd himself, film commentarys, in depth interviews with Lloyd's daughter and grandaughter, as well as important friend and Lloyd expert Rich Correll.
I deduct 1 star simply because of the musical arrangements. A good film score can turn an average silent comedy into a good one and vice versa, in my opinion the scoring by Robert Israel can at times be a little "overpowering" often the music doesn't fit the action and the viewer often feels they are attending a classical concert at The Royal Albert Hall.
However, in my opinion Lloyd's best films are:
1) For the quintesential image of Lloyd hanging on the clock, SAFETY LAST.
2) A favourite with everybody, THE FRESHMAN. On this my first viewing I was an instant convert!
3) THE KID BROTHER, great character casting, great musical score by Carl Davis, the final 30 mins you will watch again and again!
4) Lloyd's talkies often recieve a slating, however it is impressive the way Lloyd changed his "style" from the slapstick of the silents to the situational comedy of sound, a few of these are very underated, in the particular I found THE CATS PAW to be a real hidden gem!
In short do not hestitate to buy this Box Set.Believe me, if you can be bothered to look for Harold Lloyd on Amazon this is the collection you want, you won't be disappointed! More importantly the fan base is shrinking! Lloyd and others like him will only be remembered as long as they are shown on TV, and unfortunately in this era that is less and less, Lloyd deserves to be remembered, so if you care enough buy it, but also buy it and show it to your kids, your friends, anybody you'll be surprised at how many new fans will be made, you won't regret it!
If you mention silent film comedians today, most people will immediately think of Charlie Chaplin, closely followed by Buster Keaton. But in the 1920's there was a third big name who was commercially more successful than either - the wonderful Harold Lloyd.
Unfortunately Lloyd kept a very tight reign on the distribution rights for his films, fearing that improper useage would impair his reputation. This meant that whilst Keaton and Chaplin films were freely available long after their filmmaking days had ended, keeping their names alive in the public conscious, the initially successful Harold Lloyd started to drop right off the radar. Which is a shame as he was wonderfully talented and made some absolutely hilarious films with his brand of physical and visual comedy. Not as depressing as Chaplin, or slapstick as Keaton he had a style all of his own which had more of a classy, intelligent feel to it.
Like most other people here I discovered Lloyd through a television series in the late `80s, during my school holidays. They were a revelation, and I wanted to see more. But they were never repeated, and there were no video releases that I could find. There have been some sporadic DVD releases, but never anything that has done the man and his art justice. They often had odd music, bad restoration, incorrect running speeds and cropping that really made Lloyds fears about poor representation of his work seem justified.
Now, finally, this magnificent set has been produced. Overseen by Suzanne Lloyd, Harold's granddaughter, it is a marvel. It contains, I think, all of Lloyd's surviving silent films (sadly many were lost in a fire at his house in 1943) and five of his seven talkies. The films are listed in other reviews which I will not repeat. The restoration on each is a wonder to behold. The image on some seems so sharp and clear it looks as though it was filmed yesterday. The usual annoying jumps, jerks and blemishes have been taken out, and the films run at their correct speed. Added to this are the sympathetic scores from Carl Davis and Robert Israel. Much care has been taken with each score to match the mood and pace of the action on screen, and these really do add immeasurably to the viewing enjoyment.
The 29 films are presented on 9 discs in slimline cases, all held in a sturdy card slipcase. There is a wealth of extras on the discs, commentaries, documentaries and the like which I have not had a chance to view yet. An added bonus is in the case of disc one - 6 prints of photos of Marilyn Monroe taken by Lloyd, who was a keen photographer.
This is an excellent set, and one that finally does the great man justice. 5 stars, no hesitation.
on 4 March 2008
By chance I saw part of one of Harold Lloyd's silent movies on TV, normally I would not watch a black and white movie let alone a silent film but I started laughing and realised what comic genius I was witness to. Ordering this set came soon after.
You might have trouble getting them out of the box. They're packed in there so tightly that I literally had to get a knife and cut the case to get the individual dvds out but I don't think I can take off a star just for that.
Movies like 'A Sailor made man', 'Safety Last' and 'Why Worry' really make this set worthwhile on their own but there's lots of other good films and shorts, too.
A wonderful set to have in your collection. Anyone who doesn't think they could sit down and enjoy a silent movie (though there are also a few 'talkies' on here) will be converted as soon as one of the movies are played for them.
If you live in the UK and remember Harold Lloyd, it's probably through the old TV compilations that had the song 'Hooray for Harold Lloyd' and the excitable cheesy voice over saying thinks like 'Oh no, what will Harold do now!!!'
When I bought the boxiest, I thought I would be getting those old shows. I remembered watching them as a kid, and didn't know they were just compilations from his films.
To be honest, they were very good and I was almost disappointed I didn't get that...then you watch the films.
They are some of the most amazing slapstick comedy films I've ever seen. At times I had my hands in front of my face saying NO! as he climbs a skyscraper, in one film with his feet stuck on a painters tresslle.
There are Talkies too! I've never seen these before. they are a lot different to the silents, and I think I prefer the silents. There is so much more visual comedy, whereas the talkies seem to be story lead. Feet First is probably the most hybrid of these talkies.
But...despite all these incredible stunts, what makes it even more incredible is he did it with nearly only 1 hand!
I didn't know this until recently, and I heard an interview on the radio with his daughter, who told the story.
In those old silent comedies, where you would have a big fat baddy with a big black moustache tying some maiden to a rail track whilst holding a big bomb, that said BOMB on the side, those bombs were made of paper. The idea being that when they exploded the effect looked impressive on screen. Anyway, apparently one of these bomb's went off whilst Harold was holding it, taking with it a few of his fingers. They thought his career was over, but instead Lloyd had a false hand made, it's very difficult to see at times, but in some scenes of his movies, usually when he's just sitting down, you can see his right hand makes no movements and looks slightly odd. You'd never notice though unless you knew about it, and it was kept a big secret.
Now, rematch one of his films and realise that these breathtaking stunts are not only being done by a real person, but a real 1 handed person!
Amazing set. Buy it.